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Visit of Rector Major to the China Province: Day 1

By Peggy Li

Macau, China, 11 August 2019 -- This moment has been long awaited. The Rector Major, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, accompanied by the EAO Regional Councilor Fr. Klement Vaclav and his secretary Fr. Horacio Lopez, arrived in Macau, where on 13 February 1906, the thenFr. Versiglia and 5 other Salesian missionaries reached Chinese soil and began the first Salesian work in Far East Asia. During this week the Rector Major is going to conduct his animation visit in the China Province which covers three main regions – Macau, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

The welcoming ceremony was held in Yuet Wah College. Colorful flags were put up. Everybody was carrying a towel which was specially designed for the visit of the Rector Major. The hot weather did not deter the people from expressing their joy and excitement at meeting the tenth Successor of Don Bosco. Besides the Salesians and representatives from various groups of the Salesian Family, there were students from St. Versiglia School. They cheered and sang a Don Bosco hymn in Cantonese. Before entering the Salesian quarters, the Rector Major paid a short visit to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and offered a bouquet of flowers to Our Lady.

“I am happy to have come among you and meet each one of you. It has always been a precious and wonderful moment to personally meet the confreres. For this, it is worth traveling a million miles.” The Rector Major shared with simplicity and sincerity with the Salesians in the evening. In 5 years and 4 months as Rector Major he has visited 96 nations and 12,200 Salesian confreres altogether.

In the heart to heart sharing, Fr. Angel encouraged the Salesians to have hope always because the Lord is showering his blessings on the congregation with new vocations. It is very much alive as it continues to take care of poor young people. This makes it truly beautiful. At the same time, Fr. Angel invited the Salesians to give witness to their identity as Salesian consecrated individuals. This should be made more visible. To counteract the current of individualism, Salesians are called to grow in the aspect of fraternal communion.

The China Province is blessed with a great and unique history, as the Rector Major puts it, and the Salesians at present and those who will come in the future will continue to write its history.














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